Prudential ICICI Powers CRM Drive With Talisma

by Hinesh Jethwani    Jun 14, 2004

Prudential ICICI has powered a major CRM drive, and is looking to build a completely automated system, which will enable the customer to virtually ’serve himself’.

The project has been tagged as a ’Self Service Monitor’ solution, that will run 24×7, removing a substantial load from the company’s call based support center. ’Self Service’, will effectively allow customers to log on to Prudential ICICI’s website remotely, and check the complete status of their complaints, without going through the complications of dial in support.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Kalyan Prasath, VP-IT, Prudential ICICI, said, “It’s been six months since we purchased Talisma, and we are looking to completely revamp our existing CRM infrastructure. Currently, there is no single repository for archiving data exchanged during customer interaction. Telephonic conversations of customers and agents were not being recorded, because of which there was no historic data that agents could fall back on to understand the status of repeated complaints. With Talisma, these bottlenecks are all set to become history. All forms of customer interaction, including emails and snail mails, will be fed into the CRM either directly or indirectly (for e.g. using a scanner to feed forms into the database).”

So why did Prudential ICICI choose Talisma instead of Siebel? Prasath replied, “Purchasing Siebel would have been an ’overkill’, as we were not looking for a full-fledged CRM. Talisma is really cost effective, and we have saved atleast 40-45 % by opting for it instead of Siebel. Moreover, another comfort factor was that Talisma has a development center based in India. Their support processes are completely transparent, and they even allow us to monitor problem resolution time.”

Detailing the infrastructure that powers the CRM, Prasath said, “A four-way Xeon server based on Windows 2000 Advanced Server (AS) powers the CRM along with Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite. We have just finished clustering the database for enabling mirror images to be used for business analytics. The next step in understanding our customers better, and gaining maximum insight into the CRM database, will be the purchase of a BI solution. Failover analysis and load balancing on Citrix has already been carried out, and our primary focus now is strengthening our Disaster Recovery (DR) site in Mumbai. We have identified key applications, which will be made available from 4 servers at the DR site in extreme cases of an emergency.”

“The CRM has been interfaced with our primary transactional database. Our database is centralized, and runs on Oracle. However, for our CRM database, we use SQL Server 2000. The Document Management System currently works by scanning image files of application forms, which are later manually entered by data entry executives into the database. We haven’t implemented an Optical Character Recognition/ Intelligent Character Recognition (OCR/ICR) system yet, but have carried out a pilot run to evaluate its prospects,” added Prasath.

Regarding the use of Linux and Open Source software, Prudential ICICI prefers to stick to its ’Microsoft Standard’. Prasath reasoned, “We are using Linux only for SMTP. All our desktops run on Windows. Having invested a significant amount on MS Office licenses, switching to an alternate office productivity suite (like Sun’s Star Office) will be almost impossible. The training costs for the new package will far exceed the price difference between the two.”

Prudential ICICI is an asset management company - a joint venture between Prudential, UK based insurance company and ICICI Bank.

Tags: CRM, Talisma